The Village of Chryston - North Lanarkshire - Scotland
EXTERNALLY One   sees   Bedlay   Castle   first   when   taking   the   curve   in   the   approach   drive   from   the   South   which   terminates   in   a   wide   sweep   which   leads   to   the main door in the square tower. The door is squat and low and this squatness is accentuated by the simple mouldings which surround the door. A   reminder   of   the   older   days   is   to   be   found   over   the   East   window   of   the   hall   in   the   shape   of   the   Coat   of   Arms   of   Roberton   of   Bedlay   within   a moulded panel. Robertson Coat-of-Arms Even    though    one    can    distinguish    where    the    Robertson    addition    occurs    it    is    nevertheless apparent   that   an   attempt   had   been   made   to   gain   architectural   unity   by   the   lining   up   of   the window   lines   between   the   window   in   the   Western   room   in   the   South   elevation   and   the   3   existing windows   in   the   original   building. The   strange   fact   now   emerges   that   these   windows   are   irregular in   size   and   one   is   forced   to   believe   that   they   must   have   been   constructed   at   different   times.   A   certain   delicacy   and   definition   obtains   in   the   3 windows   of   the   original   part   where   a   roll   moulding   is   found   round   the   jamb   face   of   each   window.   This   embellishment   does   not   appear   on   the window adjoining in the Roberton addition. It   does   not   take   much   observation   to   appreciate   that   the   best   view   of   Bedlay   would   be   obtained   from   the   Eastern   approach   where   the   slated roof   to   the   square   tower   forms   a   pleasing   apex   to   the   composition   of   the   mass   and   the   falling   away   ground   line   to   the   North   side.   The   addition of   the   "Bathroom   block"   unfortunately   upsets   the   proportion   of   this   elevation   but   one   really   is   not   aware   of   this   addition   by   virtue   of   the positions   of   both   approach   avenues   and   the   position   of   the   trees.   An   interesting   feature   of   the   tower   is   the   fact   that   there   are   still   two   'blind windows'. All the lights in the tower were removed when window tax was levied. Mr. Christie had these windows replaced in new glass. Generally,   the   grey   harled   surface   of   the   Castle   is   streaked   and   discoloured   in   patches   by   rain   and   weathering   through   time   but   this   could   be remedied fairly simply. The stonework is still in good condition. East End Elevation Regarding    the    'marrying'    of    the    old    building    and    the    Roberton addition,   it   should   be   mentioned   that   apart   from   the   lining   up   of   the windows   in   the   South   elevation   no   other   effort   has   been   made   in this   respect,   but   with   the   assistance   of   time   a   pleasing   effect   has resulted. The   Western   elevation   is   fairly   simple   and   as   near   symmetrical   as need   be,   with   the   2nd   floor   tower   windows   harmoniously   placed   in arrangement   with   the   central   1st   floor   window.   A   crow-stepped   gable   rises   up   in   the   centre   of   the   composition   to   a   chimney   stack   and,   rising   up from   the   extreme   edge   of   the   stone   dyke,   this   is   perhaps   the   simplest   elevation   of   the   four.   It   will   be   noticed   that   the   Western   window   in   the square tower is rendered ineffective by the advent of the Roberton West stair. From   the   sketch   it   will   be   seen   that   the   elevation   to   the   North   shows   most   dramatically   the   march   of   time   and   its   consequential   whimsicalities, for   one   is   now   face   to   face   with   the   realities   of   the   various   additions.   Certainly   a   problem   is   present   in   the   nature   of   the   steep   fall   away   and   the natural rock outcrop below ground floor. Nevertheless,   it   seems   that   a   grander   scale   might   have   resulted   in,   at   least,   a   little   consideration   to   fenestration   and   relationship   of   solid   to   void. Roof levels, too, seem to jump about with rare abandon and tend to echo the various additions rather too clearly. Outcrop of Rock The    afore-mentioned    natural    rock    outcrop    occurs    almost    at    the base   of   the   Northernmost   Western   tower   and   projects   from   a   built up   plinth   course   which   carries   a   rather   unnecessary   mould   line   of 'egg   and   dart'   pattern   with   cover   beading   surmounting.   This   plinth block   seems   to   have   been   built   by   some   previous   owner   of   Bedlay in    order    to    give    the    existing    rock    a    'finished    appearance'.    One cannot   help   thinking   that   the   original   and   more   natural   effect   with the   rocks   built   in   to   the   base   of   the   Castle   might   have   been   the better solution. The   balustrade   mentioned   in   the   introduction   beguiles   the   stranger into   anticipating   a   more   flambuoyant   and   characteristically   lighter edifice    than    that    with    which    one    is    confronted.    However,    this balustrade    is    pleasantly    in    harmony    with    the    shrubbery    which surrounds it and gives a romantic touch to an otherwise solid front.
Bedlay Castle Chryston
An Architectural visit to this 17th Century Mansion
Sketch of Balustrade